Halloween costumes are a very important part of the holiday celebration, especially for trick-or-treating. Costume stores are everywhere at this time of year with vast selections to choose from. However, the costumes in these stores are becoming more and more expensive for lower quality material and work. The mask especially give of a distinct chemical smell. Most Halloween costumes are made with PVC (polyvinyl chloride) known to leach other materials such as lead and phtalates which can be detrimental especially in developing bodies.
Homemade costumes can be time consuming but rewarding when the results are better than intended. Homemade face paint is a great alternative to to store bought paint in that there are no mystery ingredients. Here are two recipes for homemade face paints that have been personally tested:
First face paint ingredients:
2 parts cornstarch
1 part vegetable shortening
dash of flour
food color of choice (or none for white face paint)
Mix the cornstarch, vegetable shortening, and flour together until they make a desirable consistency. Add the food coloring one or two drops at a time, a little goes a long way. The typical grocery store pack of food coloring comes with green, yellow, red, and blue. Other colors can be made by combining these colors: blue and red make purple, yellow and red make orange, pink is just a light red, etc..
Second face paint ingredients:
white lotion or glycerin soap
This one is easy and good for fake blood. Just add the coloring the same as in the previous recipe. The ingredients of this recipe can be less organic depending on the product used so be mindful of the brand and read the ingredients that are on the label.
Zombies have been a rising trend in the last few years, so here is a little guide to creating a zombie with homemade face paints:
First step: shading
zombies have sunken eyes and defined bones from their rotting flesh. Either create black makeup with black food dye (its usually sold by itself) or burn the end of a wine cork and fill in the eye sockets, follow the hair and jawline, the sides of the nose down into and with the creases that form around the mouth in a smile, and following the cheek bone is good as well.
Next step: highlighting the skin
zombie skin color can be anywhere from pale white with maybe a hint of grey, to some shade of green hinting the body has rotten. One drop of green was added to the first paint recipe listed and applied to fill in the open spaces on the face that were not shaded in with the black coloring. Doing this by hand helps to contour the paint, which is fairly thick, to the face. some blending naturally happens where the 2 different colors come into contact with each other.
The face is completely zombified at this point, but Halloween and fake blood go together so well.
Last step: blood
zombies eat flesh or have infected bites that turned them. For this one, the second paint recipe should be used because the texture is closer to bloods. use red coloring, but add a drop of blue, or even black, to deepen the red. Apply it to the mouth with some running down like gravity would have it on the face and neck. If talented enough, create a bite mark indicating where the zombie was infected.
The end product is a convincing zombie, and a moisturized face when the face paint comes off. Happy Halloween!